Sultan Çoban - “Propaganda of Terrorist Organization Through Media” Trial

An investigation was launched against Danish Citizen and freelance journalist Sultan Çoban following the official complaint made by of Command of Gendarmerie in the Cihanbeyli Providence of Konya.

Çoban, was taken into custody and her statement was taken within the scope of the investigation at Istanbul airport through, Sound and Video Information System (SEGBİS) she made a statement to Cihanbeyli Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. After the statement, she was released with a ban on leaving the country.

The indictment against her was completed at November 9th, 2019.

The indictment said that publication of the person called “Serdal Benli” titled “here are those pictures”, was re-posted in Çoban’s Facebook account at August 13th, 2016. According to the indictment, the content of the publication was as follows:

“A picture paints a thousand words. Instead of the darkness of #Menbih, fear is drowned in the fire of freedom and colours of life takes the place of the flag of the darkness. Thanks to the brave men and women who experienced these wonderful moments and made history. Thanks #YPG #YPJ #SPF.”

Çoban had re-published Danish politician Serdal Benli’s post on her Facebook account.

The indictment accused had of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation through media” for one social media post. She was requested to be sentenced to from 1 year 6 months to 7 years 6 months of imprisonment.

The trial started with the first hearing held at Konya 8th Assize Court courthouse at February 27th, 2020.

Çoban, in her defence statement, said that the publication was made by Serdal Benli, Vice President of Socialist People’s Party (Denmark). She said she had shared Benli’s post without making any adjustments.

Çoban said she shared the pictures because thew were newsworthy and requested her acquittal.

Çoban’s attorney Veysel Ok reminded the Constitutional Court’s decision that banned using of any investigations on people’s social media accounts without a court warrant.

The prosecutor’s office, in the opinion as to the accusations, regarding attorney Ok’s objection about the Constitutional Court decision, said that Çoban’s account was public, therefore a court warrant was not required for an investigation.

Prosecutor’s office accused Çoban of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation through” and requested her to be sentence to imprisonment.

Attorney Veysel Ok, reminded the changes made on the crime of “terrorist organisation propaganda” by the First Judicial Reforms Pack, approved by the parliament. This regulation had made the addition that said “thought expressions that do not cross the limits of informing and are in a criticism nature do not form crime” to the article that regulated the crime of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation”.

The court claimed that that Çoban had committed the crime of “making propaganda through press” and sentenced her to 1 year 3 months of imprisonment, according to the article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law.

Çoban’s sentence, who had objected to the deferment of the announcement of the sentence, was suspended. “The ban on leaving the country” against Çoban was lifted. The decision will be taken to the appeal court.

Documents

Indictment

Journalists
Sultan Çoban

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